Spikers score rare win over Russia

SURGUT, Russia (Kyodo) Japan registered its first win over Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Russia in 12 years on Saturday in Pool C action in the men’s World League.

Already eliminated following a 3-0 defeat Friday in the first of the two-match series, Japan pulled off a surprise 25-23, 25-23, 22-25, 25-21 victory to improve its record to 3-7. Russia is 6-4.

Kazuki Maeda and Tatsuya Fukuzawa both had 18 points for Japan while Yury Berezhko was the top scorer of the Russian team with 16 points.

“We analyzed Friday’s match very well and made some changes in our game,” said Japan coach Tatsuya Ueta.

“We were prepared for a hard-fought match and the players were told to fight for every point and not give up in any situation. It’s a historical victory for us.”